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Kitchen Notes: Buying Whole Turkeys
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow - I'm kicking a dead horse. That's almost always a terrible idea, but with Thanksgiving around the corner I'm hoping to see more on Turkeys very soon!

Free Range turkeys do NOT necessarily mean that the meat tastes better. As with so many things in the food industry, it depends on whether the farmer is using the term to simply sell more turkeys, or out of a sincere desire to produce a better (more expensive) product. As near as I can tell, there are no strict requirements to how often or for what duration a turkey must be "given access to" the outdoors. An irreputable farmer might categorize a turkey as "free ranged" while still raising the turkeys in almost identical conditions.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:55 pm    Post subject: free range that knock Reply with quote

Local drought conditions this summer and fall drove all sorts of wildlife into my "subdivision fringe" yard. Figuring if I feed birds, I could feed deer, racoons, possums, a platoon of squirrels and what ever else wanted scratch feed, sunflower seeds and free pond water.

Then several days running, a knock at my front door just after dawn brought the wild turkey group (is there a name for the little flock?) to my attention. Cracked corn was added to the diet and even more things showed up to dine. The tom was probably bumping heads with his reflection in the glass door but his 4 ladies did gain a bit of noticable weight after the addition.

Sadly, tom no longer travels with his little harem. Guess he died but I shall toast him and them when I dine on delish turkey purchased with tips gleaned from your fine article.

Thank thee much - now to find alton brown's how to brine info. . .
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:38 pm    Post subject: turkeys Reply with quote Delete this post

Thanksgiving is far off, but I just happened to see your article on whole turkeys. So, here goes - my method. The white meat is always tender.

I suggest that you try a KOSHER turkey, the commonest available is Empire but the other brands are great too. The process to make it kosher also serves to tenderize the meat and even out the time so the white meat is not overcooked when the dark meat is done. You need to get it though from a reputable store where it is stored properly and not too long. So get the kosher turkey at a store patronized by a lot of kosher keeping Jews to ensure that the bird is of good quality. Do not buy it from a store where maybe once a month someone wants this turkey.

Then defrost it in water in the fridge. The bird is so large, normally, that the outside and inside may not defrost UNIFORMLY even in the fridge unless the whole bag is defrosted in a big pot or tub of water. If it is cold enough outside [<40 deg.] and you have a tub or pot or bucket with a strong snug fitting lid, by all means let it defrost outdoors immersed in cold water.

Wipe the turkey all over with paper towels or a tea towel, then wipe on some soy sauce and honey. Put an onion and apple, cut into chunks inside, place the turkey on a rack in a big enough pan. Pour 1/2 cup of white wine or OJ or pomegranate juice or even water into the pan so the juices won't burn and to add flavor. You can also put cloves of garlic and sliced onion into the pan. You may truss the bird if you want.

Bake the bird at 350 deg. for 1/2 hour, then lower the temp. to 275 deg. and leave it pretty much alone for at least several hours. Poke the leg with a knife tip or fork. If the juices run clear, it is done. Whenever it is done, lower the oven temp. to 200-210 deg. and keep it warm until you are ready to serve it. Please keep in mind that a LOW temp. roast technique like this is INCOMPATIBLE with stuffing the turkey!!! If you want to stuff the turkey, you must roast it at no lower than 325 deg. for the entire period.
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